Hustles

There is certainly no shortage of other hustles: a couple weeks ago, a well-dressed man pitched me a story in Dunkin Donuts about having lost his wallet and run out of gas, needing to get to Bridgeport, etc., etc. The next day, apparently not recognizing me, he tried again a few blocks away. “You sold me that bill of goods yesterday!” I said, and he just walked away cursing. At least once every summer, when I’m sitting outside at the neighborhood bar down the block from my building, someone tries to run the out-of-gas hustle with an actual jerry can. I appreciate the extra investment in veracity, but I don’t offer money.

How We Think About Class

While everyone agreed in principle that it is generally not desirable to judge people based on their appearance, we diverged on whether judging people based on apparent wealth is as bad as judging them based on, say, race.

Fronting

At The Root, Demetria Lucas writes about a phenomenon that is happening among young adults: “fronting,” or running up deep debts to project the professional success they aim to achieve (“fake it till you make it,” “dress for the job you want,” etc. etc.). Lucas tells the story of a friend who wanted to launch himself as a nightlife entrepreneur.

Talking About Money And Splitting the Cost of Child-Rearing After a Divorce

Spring is in the air, and as Alfred, Lord Tennyson famously said, it’s the time when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Truly, this is an optimistic moment: buds are bursting through frost, fans of lousy baseball teams feel improvident hope, and in all matters romantic, we cannot help but think of the good things yet to come—the spark of new attraction, the idyllic domesticity of a shared apartment, the stomach-flutteringly massive notion of getting married. So let me bring you down to earth: There’s a good chance you’re going to get divorced, by which time you may have kids, and on top of all the other heartbreaks, you may embark on a lifetime of difficult conversations about money. Let’s talk about this.

Are the Suburbs Worth It?

I cannot pretend to do a useful comparison of the relative costs of city renting and suburban home ownership. There are too many variables and too many personal preferences to offer any insight. (In my own highly idiosyncratic experience, renting has proved a better deal, but your mileage may vary.) But what about the schools? They are better, sure, but how much better? How much more should a monthly mortgage payment be than monthly rent to live in a neighborhood with less crime? And is something else lost when we sacrifice a communitarian investment in a place for individual advantage, and in the transaction raise our children with less exposure to economic and ethnic diversity?

The Best Dead-end Job I Ever Had: Bike Messenger in the Late ’90s

You probably have an idea of what a bike messenger’s job is like, either based on the many media depictions of the job, from “Quicksilver” to “Premium Rush,” or on the fact that in many cities, messengers do seem perennially hurried to the point of madness. Your impression is not wrong, because most messengers work for messenger companies doing piecework—they are paid by the job—so they have an incentive to do as many jobs as possible. That was not my job.

A Life in Two Decades: In Brooklyn, in Massachusetts, in Hartford, Conn.

Where and how did you live, Josh?

I’m 36 Years Old and Living the Life of a Millennial

Mortgage + car payment + bar loan + credit cards + daycare costs for two children = American Dream.